Categorized | National News

DPM: “Country Turning The Corner” Despite Jobs Lost

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance Peter Turnquest implying that things may be turning around for the country on the labour front, despite unemployment rising slightly to 10.1%

In a glass half full approach, the DPM pointed to the rise in the labour force as a reason for optimism, despite the slight uptick in joblessness.

According to the Department of Statistics latest Labour survey, jobs in government and government corporations decreased by 2,555 jobs or 6.3 percent – from 40,990 jobs to 38,435 jobs.
He made this announcement during the Grand Bahama Chamber of Commerce annual installation of officers and Directors at the Grand Lucayan Resort on Friday.

“Now for the bad news. Unfortunately, the conditions of school leavers drove up the unemployment rate by a modest .2 percent.”

“This figure, he said, is something to be proud of because it could be a lot worse.

“What is particularly pleasing news, despite what is said about Grand Bahama, and its unemployment rate, the unemployment rate in Grand Bahama declined slightly from 12.4 percent in May, to 12.1 percent.

“So, while it’s not big news we’re all very appreciative for all of you who would responsible for that .3 percent decline in unemployment here in Grand Bahama, and it’s no surprise where that decline happened. It’s primarily in the transportation sector looking at the Container Port, the Harbour, Shipyard and related companies.”

“But the good news is that we believe, we are starting to turn the corner and that 2018,” Mr. Turnquest said.
The rise in unemployment from 9.9 percent to 10.1 percent nationally was largely attributed to a more than six percent reduction of jobs in the public service, according to Acting Director of the Department of Statistics Leona Wilson, whose department released the latest labor force survey on Friday.
Unemployment in New Providence rose from 10.4 percent to 10.6 percent.
Unemployment on Abaco also rose from 7.8 to 8.6 percent.
However, unemployment in Grand Bahama fell from 12.4 percent to 12.1 percent.
The latest survey provides data on the labor force as it existed during the reference period of October 30, 2017 through November 6, 2017.
Continued employment in the private sector staved off a further increase in unemployment.
The transport, storage and communication industry saw an 18 percent increase in employment, the department said. Meanwhile, the wholesale and retail sector experienced a nine percent increase in employment, according to the department.
According to the survey, there were 3,575 more people employed last November compared to last May – 203,730 compared to the 200,155.
According to the latest survey, which pegs unemployment at 10.1 percent at the time it was taken, 22,950 people were listed as unemployed – 12,130 women and 10,820 men.
In the last survey in May 2017, there were 21,880 unemployed people.
A closer look at the data shows that 16,825 people were listed as unemployed on New Providence.
Another 3,735 people were listed as unemployed on Grand Bahama, and 1,140 people in Abaco.
There were 945 people listed as unemployed in Abaco in the last survey.
The labor force totaled 226,680 people at the time of the most recent survey – 109,135 women and 117,545 men.
Of the 203,730 people employed, 142,285 were employed in New Providence, 27,240 in Grand Bahama, and 12,115 in Abaco.
Youth unemployment (15-24) increased from 20.1 percent in May 2017 to 22 percent last November.

Written by Jones Bahamas

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